Monday, April 21, 2008

March of Dimes--

My very best friend is walking with the March of Dimes in Chicago this coming weekend. After having two premies herself, the cause is very near and dear to her. Derrick and I would really love to walk with them sometime and figure the least we can do is help spread the word. If you can help the cause, please go to her homepage and sponser her for this race!

Get ready to be grossed out..

Have you seen this email going around yet? I was actually really shocked. I knew the food was bad but I didn't realize HOW bad. No wonder I gained 15 lbs in college. I think I ate those Aussie cheese fries at Outback several times!!! ugggggg

Worst foods in America:

20: Worst Fast-Food Chicken Meal - Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips from McDonald's (5 pieces) with cream ranch sauce. 830 Calories, 55 grams fat (4.5 trans fat), 48 carbs. Add a large fries and regular soda and this seemingly innocuous chicken meal tops out at 1,710 calories.

19: Worst drink - Jamba Juice Chocolate Moo'd Power smoothie (30 fl oz). 900 calories, 10 g fat, 183 carbs, 166 g sugar. Jamba Juice calls it a smoothie, MSNBC calls it a milk shake. The beverage contains as much sugar as 8 pints of Ben & Jerry's butter pecan ice cream.

18: Worst supermarket meal - Pepperidge Farm Roasted Chicken Pot Pie (whole pie). 1,020 calories, 64 g fat, 86 g carbs. Label may say this pie serves two, but, who ever divided a small pot pie in half? Once you crack the crust, there will be no stopping.

17: Worst 'healthy' burger - Ruby Tuesday Bella Turkey Burger. 1,145 calories, 71 g fat, 56 g carbs.

16: Worst Mexican entree - Chipotle Mexican Grill Chicken Burrito. 1,179 calories, 47 g fat, 125 g carbs, 2,656 mg sodium

15: Worst kids' meal - Macaroni Grill Double Macaroni 'n' Cheese. 1,210 calories, 62 g fat, 3,450 mg sodium. It's like feeding your kid 1 1/2 boxes of Kraft mac 'n' cheese.

14: Worst sandwich - Quiznos Classic Italian (large). 1,528 calories, 92 g fat, 4,604 mg sodium, 110 g carbs. A large homemade sandwich would more likely provided about 500 calories.

13: Worst salad - On the Border Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef. 1,450 calories, 102 g fat, 78 g carbs, 2,410 mg sodium. This isn't an anomaly: Five different On the Border salads on the menu contain more than 1, 100 calories each.

12: Worst burger - Carl's Jr. (Hardee's on East Coast) Double Six Dollar Burger. 1,520 calories! 111g fat. Carl's Jr. brags it's home to this enormous sandwich, but the restaurant chain also provides convenient nutrition info on its Web site -- so ignorance is no excuse for eating it.

11: Worst steak - Lonestar 20 oz T-bone. 1,540 calories, 124g fat. Add a baked potato and Lonestar's Signature Lettuce Wedge, and this is a 2,700 calorie blowout.

10: Worst breakfast - Bob Evans Caramel Banana Pecan Cream Stacked and Stuffed hotcakes. 1,540 calories, 77 g fat (9 g trans fat), 198 g carbs, 109 g sugar. Five Egg McMuffins yield the same caloric cost as this stack of sugar-stuffed flapjacks, which is truly a heavy breakfast, weighing in at a hefty pound and a half.

9: Worst dessert - Chili's Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. 1,600 calories, 78 g fat, 215 g carbs. Would you eat a Big Mac for dessert? How about three? That's the calorie equivalent of this decadent dish. Clearly, Chili's customers get their money's worth.

8: Worst chinese entree - P.F. Chang's Pork Lo Mein. 1,820 calories, 127 g fat,! 95 g carbs. The fat content in this dish alone provides more than 1,100 calories. And you'd have to eat almost five servings of pasta to match the number of carbs it contains. Now, do you really need five servings of pasta?

7: Worst chicken entree - Chili's Honey Chipotle Crispers with Chipotle Sauce. 2,040 calories, 99 g fat, 240 g carbs. "Crispers" refers to an extra thick layer of break crumbs that soak up oil and adds unnecessary calories and carbs to these glorified chicken strips.

6: Worst fish entree - On the Border Dos XX Fish Tacos with Rice and Beans. 2,100 calories, 130 g fat, 169 g carbs, 4,700 mg sodium. Perhaps the most misleadingly named dish in America : A dozen crunchy tacos from Taco Bell will saddle you with fewer calories.

5: Worst pizza - Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza. 2,310 calories, 162 g fat, 123 g carbs, 4,470 mg sodium. Downing this "personal" pizza is equivalent to eating 18 slices of Domino's Crunchy Thin Crust cheese pizza.

4: Worst pasta - Macaroni Grill Spaghetti and Meatballs with Meat Sauce. 2,430 calories, 128 g fat, 207 g carbs, 5,290 mg sodium. This meal satisfied your calorie requirements for an entire day.

3: Worst nachos - On the Border Stacked Border Nachos. 2,740 calories, 166 g fat, 191 g carbs, 5,280 sodium.

2: Worst starter - Chili's Awesome Blossom. 2,710 calories, 203 g fat, 194 g carbs, 6,360 mg sodium.

1: The worst food in America - Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing. 2,900 calories, 182 g fat, 240 g carbs. Even if you split these "starters" with three friends, you'll have downed a dinner's worth of calories before you entree arrives!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Is this a parenting milestone?

So Valerie cut her hair today. yes. awesome. Just as I want to take her to the states and take a ton of pictures. flippin' fabulous.

I usually set her in front of a movie, with a coloring book, a snack.. enough to hold her 20 mins so I can take a shower and get dressed. Usually this works.. most of the 'bad stuff' is up high. However she climbed the computer desk today and decided to cut her hair (and some books). She has actually cut Ellie's hair in front of me before but I caught her before she did much damage. As you can see below, she cut a LOT of it. There was about an inch and a half thick piece on the floor. It almost spikes out from the top of her head and a huge chunk of bangs is missing. The way her colic works, it's very noticeable.

If anyone has any ideas on how to get through the next 6 months of growing that chunk out, let me know. :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

To my fellow military wives

A friend sent this to me, which you've probably read before. However when I'm having a bad day, it surely helps. I hope it can help you. :)

The Military Wife

The good Lord was creating a model for military wives and was into His sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared. She said, "Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one. What's wrong with the standard model?"

The Lord replied, "Have you seen the specs on this order. She has to be completely independent, possess the qualities of both a father and mother, be a perfect hostess to four or forty with an hour's notice, run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual, be able to carry on cheerfully, even if she is pregnant and has the flu, and she must be willing to move to a new location ten times in seventeen years. And, oh yes, she must have six pairs of hands!" The angel shook her head, “Six pairs of hands? No way. "

The Lord continued, “Don’t worry, I will make other military wives to help her. And I will give her an unusually strong heart so it can swell with pride in her husband's achievements, sustain the pain of separations, beat soundly when it is overworked and tired, and be large enough to say, 'I understand' when she doesn't and say 'I love you', regardless."

"Lord," said the angel, touching his arm gently. "Go to bed and get some rest. You can finish this tomorrow."

"I can't stop now," said the Lord. "I am so close to creating something unique. Already this model heals herself when she is sick, can put up six unexpected guests for the weekend, wave good-bye to her husband from a pier, a runway or a depot, and understand why it's important that he leave."

The angel circled the model of the military wife, looked at it closely and sighed, "It looks fine, but it's too soft."

"She might look soft," replied the Lord. "But she has the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure."

Finally the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Lord's creation. "There's a leak," she announced. "Something is wrong with the construction. I am not surprised that it has cracked. You are trying to put too much into this model."

The Lord appeared offended at the angel's lack of confidence. “What you see is not a leak," He said. "It's a tear." "A tear?" What is it there for?" asked the angel.

The Lord replied, "It's for joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, pride and a dedication to all the values that she and her husband hold dear."

"You are a genius!" exclaimed the angel. The Lord looked puzzled and replied, "I didn't put it there."

C is for Cookie

Who doesn't love cookies? Valerie loves to make things in the kitchen, cookies being her favorite. .. an obvious choice for a two year old. We have never made cookies with cookie cutters before for no reason really other than that it takes more time. ;) I let her pick out a few cookie cutters and we had a good time! She decorated them with frosting and sprinkles and the girls pigged out. Recently Ellie got her pink chair for her birthday and of course, silly me, thought we could hold off until Val's birthday for hers. riiight. Hers came about two weeks later. They have offically taken over the living room but it does give them each their own space and therefore fights over where to sit are almost nonexistent now! Worth the $ in my opinion. Take care!

I'm guessing it's because you have to convert and resize the files so much to post them online, but in person these pictures aren't so washed out and fuzzy!! ug. :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Daily ramblings

Hello loved ones---

I haven't really "written" in awhile so I thought I'd just give a little update on the four of us. Crazy, right? No pictures!?! :)

Derrick is very busy this deployment and apparently the thermometer said 110 yesterday in the *morning* so he is blistering hot. Apparently he has a very dark head and a white body from his wet suit and cami's. ha. that's attractive! For those of you who have never been blessed to see a photo of D over a deployment he and his fellow EOD boys insist on growing thick mustaches during each trip. With his bald head and big thick dark mustache, I have to say he looks like Borat. I'm not a fan of that man, and he knows that thing has got to go before he gets back here. Needless to say Val finds it hilarious, and sometimes scary when she sees Daddy on webcam.

We were trying to work out a week together in May in Kenya but we've had to pull the plug. Apparently the demonstrations keep starting up again and it is just not the best time for me to be traveling alone through the region, or bring our kids into that kind of situation. Bummer.

So to make the most of having two young ones not stuck to a school schedule, we're going to be in the states for the month of May! I'll mainly be staying with my parents, with a few side trips to see friends in St. Louis, Indy, & Chicago. I can't handle going all the way to FL or much farther than the above areas but if you're around, feel free to come see us! I am looking forward to having a little bit of help with the 'terrible two's' as well as a chance to see some old friends that we couldn't get to over xmas with such a short trip.

That's about all that is going on around here. I've been taking lots of photos and enjoying the outdoors as you see below. Valerie has been going to the CDC about twice a week for a couple hours (as she calls it, "school") so that Ellie and I can have some one on one time as well as hit the gym. Val loves school and actually cries when I pick her up. She would rather stay. I apparently also embarrass her as I'm told not to sing in the car and that my music is yucky. nice. I thought I had a few years left.. but ahh well. Atleast my other child still wants to be around me!

Have a fantastic week-- :) Linds.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

few more country pics

Jannelle and I drove out towards Enna today to take some more photos. I wanted to redo the spring flower shoot because the sun was so bright that the shadows were really harsh and not what I wanted at all. It was a hazy day which is perfect & not blinding you in the face while you're trying to "cheese" :) Unfortunately our tea party idea was canned when Ellie started screaming and stealing the other girls' food. They would rather run through the flowers like energetic little girls than sit pretty for us to photograph them.. of course, right? So the only photo I have of Ellie unfortunately is her eating a granola bar. After this she started crying and spent the rest of the shoot in her carseat waiting in the car. lol Ahh well. We never did find the red poppies so I may go back to drive a bit further next time. We'll see. Maybe next spring ;)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Monday already??

This week flew by for us. I feel as though I was just prepping for Monday morning.. and here it is again. We had a pretty good weekend - how was yours? We didn't do anything too crazy as the weather keeps changing drastically. Tonight Valerie and I had a princess night. We watched her new favorite movie, "Enchanted" and painted our fingers and toes. She of *course* had to wear her princess dress! Here are a few pics from the last few days.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Vallerina grocery shops

This one is for Grandma ;)

My mom sent me a big thing of tulle to make Valerie a tutu, as I posted a long time ago on here. I've been itching to find a way to use it in a photoshoot ever since. My friend Jannelle and I brainstormed and came up with the grocery store. Why? Because it represents the "mama" Valerie tries to be while still showing her innocent, two year old self. She happens to be obsessed with a little shopping cart Grandma Deb bought her at toys r us for Christmas so it worked out perfectly. The rain boots are just the obvious choice as well, as she's been wearing them for over a year now!

Pics by jReed.